Teachers play a vital role in building future citizens. Preparing young Canadians for the voting process can – and should – start at an early age.
Student Vote is a parallel election for students under the voting age coinciding with general elections. Students learn about government and the electoral process, research the political parties and platforms, discuss relevant issues and cast ballots for the official election candidates. The Student Vote results are shared publicly and with the media for broadcast and publication.
The Student Vote program applies the concept of the ‘teachable moment’ and uses the election as a springboard for discussing current affairs and practicing the skills and competencies of responsible citizenship. The real-life aspect of the parallel election enhances their interest to learn, discuss issues and become acquainted with the process. The publication of the Student Vote results allows students to feel that their voice matters and that they are part of something larger than their school.
“This has had a profound effect on my students and their families. The frequency with which students are following the media, discussing current events and demonstrating a commitment to being active citizens is amazing.” (Student Vote Team Leader, British Columbia, 2015 federal election)
An independent evaluation commissioned by Elections Canada found that Student Vote had a positive impact on student knowledge and understanding of politics and elections, on their interest and confidence in discussing politics and on their future voting intentions. The program was also found to foster dialogue and learning about the election at home, and 28 per cent of parents surveyed said their child’s participation positively impacted their decision to vote.
CIVIX will be offering Student Vote for the 2017 provincial election in partnership with Elections BC and with support from the Vancouver Foundation and the Government of Canada.
Registration for Student Vote BC is open until Friday, April 21. Participating schools receive educational resources, posters, ballots, ballot boxes and voting screens. The program is offered at no cost and open to all schools in the province.
Schools can sign up today by visiting www.studentvote.ca/bc2017 or by calling 1-866-488-8775.